YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THE 16TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: THE NATURE OF GOD’S KINGDOM
BY: Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.
HOMILY: Wis.12:13,16-19, Rom.8:26-27, Matt.13:24-43.
When I was growing up, I experienced the parable of today used by Jesus to convey the nature of God’s kingdom. After cultivating a field, the next action is to sow the seeds. Within a month, the seeds will germinate in a particular place meant for them. As the seeds grow, we observed another seed growing around or close to the good seeds. A times the planted seeds and unplanted seeds look alike, sharing the same soil’s nutrients, enjoying the same pleasant or unpleasant weather, receiving the same quantum of water and sun due for photosynthesis. Before harvest, we do another farming exercise called weeding. Action of removing a seed considered undesirable in a particular place in the field. If the weeding is done at tender stage, some wanted seed could unknowingly be uprooted in the name unwanted seed. No matter how careful we could be, some good seed in the field will be tampered.
Jesus narrated a parable of a man who planted a good seed in his field. But at night, the enemy came and planted weeds in the midst of the wheat. The weeds sprouted out along with the wheat. The servants of the owner of field where the good seed was planted opted to get the weeds out from the wheat. The request was refused so as not to achieve the will of the enemy who came to kill, steal and destroy (Jon. 10:10). It is devil’s agenda to destroy the good people. We can facilitate the agenda by opting to clear the weeds when the appropriate time has not come.
What is requested of us?
We are called to learn how to DISCERN. Discernment is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1Cor.12:10). It is the ability to judge well, recognizing the moral and practical consequences of our decisions. If we posses the gift of discernment, costly mistake and misfortune will always be avoided. With discerning spirit, we recognize whether or not something is truly from God, in accordance with God’s purpose or in consonance with devil’s agenda. Gamaliel discerned properly during early Christian persecution before the Sanhedrin by advising them to keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaken is of human origin, it will fail; but if it is of God you will not be able to overthrow them, rather you may be even found fighting against God” (Acts 5:34-39). If not the spirit of discernment, how can we distinguish the wolves in sheep clothing? True prophet from false prophet (Matt.7:15).
We must learn from
Jesus today, knowing that our world, church, country, state, community, family and heart is not perfect. There is always struggle whenever there is dualism; good and evil. There is need to tolerate one another. A sinner today may be saint tomorrow. Prodigal son today may come to his senses tomorrow.
Learning to discern is to follow Jesus’ example.
May God grant us discerning spirit to know our primary motive from secondary, permanent from transient as we seek the kingdom of God.
Fr. Emmanuel Nwokeji.